Saturday, October 30, 2004

October 30, 2004
Nice day at home for a change. No trips or obligations, other than finishing my new book. That's a nice, stay-at-home project. Took two walks, two bike rides and as many naps. Started a nice brothel scratchboard, of two Soiled Doves looking pensive in a dark room, waiting for something bad to happen. A lone man, deep in shadow, stands in the doorway. Is he a John? A pimp? Wait! Isn't that Wyatt Earp? I don't know, I just draw 'em (and steal liberally from Toulouse Lautrec).

Scratchboard is a dark art. I have to fight the urge to show form beyond subtle hints. I keep pulling back, caught between too much and too little. It's a never ending battle. And I lose more than I win.

This morning I read some of the commentary on Monet and it was encouraging in a misery-loves-company kind of way. Here's a snippet:

"The great and frightful battle between the artist and his idea and the picture glimpsed but out of reach—I can see all these and I participate in them; and I am frail, powerless, and just as tortured as is Claude [Monet] by imperceptible tones, by indefinable harmonies that only my eyes, perhaps, observe and note. And I spend anguished days looking at the shadow of a milestone on a white road, realizing that I am unable to paint it."
—Guy de Maupassant

The girls (Deena and Kathy) spent the afternoon on the roof putting up Christmas lights. They finally yelled at me and I went out and plugged them in, partly because I'm a helpful male, but mostly because I'm an only child.

That speech I told you about last week ended up on the front page of this week's Sonoran News. There I am in full screech mode. I'd cut it out and send it to my mother, but it would just upset her. Maybe I could put the image in Photoshop, and paste in a new caption, something like this: “As everyone in Cave Creek knows, Bob Boze Bell is overcome with a love for Jesus and he recently burst into the Buffalo Chip Saloon to sing the praises of the Triune God. Several patrons fell to their knees and swore off intoxicating liquors and the owner broke down and wept, saying he had never been touched like he had from the preachings of Bob Boze Bell, who has supported himself for the past 30 years solely with freelance assignments from Arizona Highways. The rest of his life is a mystery, but he is a man of God, that's for sure."

Or, maybe not

"It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it."

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